Compensation and Benefits for American Expatriates Sarah Brady Deanine Estes Shannon Johnson Kate Robertson Questions for our Expatriates and Experts Ms. Kate Robertson - Human Capital Advisory Services Division Mercer Ms. Shannon Johnson – Colgate Palmolive Ms. Deanine Estes - Proctor & Gamble Ms. Sarah Brady - Chevron CAUTION… What is an American expatriate? There is not “one correct method” to create a compensation package. There are more factors above and over what we have discussed…we choose the main issues. Failed Assignments Many expatriate assignments fail each year ~30% Family dissatisfaction Cultural issues Feeling of isolation from home company Financial dissatisfaction High costs associated with failures Overview Monetary Factors of Expatriate Compensation Non-monetary Factors Political Implications Current Events Monetary Factors: Base Salary Base Salary Comparable to home country Serves as a reference point for establishing additional benefits Greatest point of flexibility Choose method Home country-based Host country-based Headquarter-based “Base salary is the greatest point of flexibility. Companies set a maximum that’s not a maximum, to be honest” -David Kohtynski, Nike Monetary Factors: Assignment Premium Incentive: persuade acceptance of international assignments Environmental or hardship premiums Mobility premiums Monetary Factors: Tax Considerations Tax burden depends on location of assignment Solution: Tax Equalization Simple and easily understood Benefits both employee and employer Employee will not receive the tax burden May be high cost to Employer Monetary Factors: Payroll Not placed on foreign location’s payroll May accrue Social Security benefits Consider exchange rates and inflation Non-monetary Factors: Family Considerations Assimilation programs Support programs Call centers Language programs Cultural awareness Non-monetary Factors: Medical Coverage 27% of expatriates are dissatisfied Employers provide full coverage 2 plans may be necessary Supplemental plans are necessary Non-Monetary Factors: Housing Housing and utilities allowance Goods and services allowance Cost of housing differences Expatriates discouraged from selling their American home American communities in foreign lands Non-monetary Factors: Education Match American standards Tuition reimbursement Non-Monetary Factors: Days Off Travel Expenses Children Employees Rest and Recreation days Non-Monetary Factors: Repatriation Employees forfeit “special” compensation Re-assimilation problems Difficult to collaborate Resentment Solutions Re-assimilation courses offered Promotion offered Career development programs Capitalize on foreign experiences Political Implications: Attack on September 11th Fear of domestic and international air travel Safety became top priority Travel restrictions to certain regions Extra approvals and precautionary measures “After September 11th some companies curtailed travel and cautioned employees but there wasn’t any huge exodus.” -Wall Street Journal, 2002 Political Implications: War on Iraq Large impact on expatriates in Middle-Eastern region Fear for lives Opinionated with respect to business implications Current Economic Conditions Companies are decreasing number of expatriates Localization is a more cost efficient option Conclusion Many factors in sending expatriates abroad Every company compensates differently TOP PRIORITY: MAKE THE EXPATRIATE HAPPY!! ““It is important to get an understanding of how your employees perceive the international human resources policy you’ve put in place and why you have relocated them. It is necessary to make sure they feel good about the programs that are underway to facilitate their international assignment. You want to know you are meeting their needs.” - John Fadel, Deloitte & Touche QUESTIONS FOR YOU… If you were an expatriate, what would you perceive as being the most important benefits? Why? Would you let the current social and political events affect your decision to go abroad? If not, what extra compensation would you deem necessary? Would you fear coming back to the U.S. after working abroad? What types of repatriation programs would you like to see implemented within your company? QUESTIONS FOR US…? References Bibliography Anonymous. “Worker safety is top priority”. Business Insurance, Chicago, (Mar 24, 2003). Anonymous. “Shell Oil, CIGNA winners of IFEBP awards”. Employee Benefit Plan Review, Chicago,(Jan 1999). Balkin, Cardy, and Gomez-Megia. Managing Human Resources III edition Cairncross, Francis. “Survey: No Man is an Island.” The Economist, 351. 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